Easy black bean burger recipe

I have something to get off my chest: I am not a fan of plant-based burgers that look and taste a lot like meat. It’s Mostly philosophical for me: I don’t like fake food and would rather find a satisfying alternative made from whole foods than highly processed ingredients. Whole foods have to be better for our bodies and for the earth.

Of course, bean burgers don’t – and shouldn’t – take like beef burgers. They taste like what they are, highlighted by the seasonings and the toppings you put with them.

These black bean burgers are full of nutrients (including fiber), and are robustly flavorful and satisfying. The key to the great texture is drying out the beans in the oven first. This not only prevents the burger from getting mushy, it helps them hold together.

You can use regular, canola, or Chipotle-flavored mayonnaise. My preference is to use a combination. In the burger, canola mayonnaise has a neutral flavor and is lower in saturated fat and calories than regular mayonnaise. The Chipotle Mayo, which I spread on the bun, has lots of flavor and a little spicy heat.

The Burgers freeze well. After they are cooked and cooled, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and set them on a flat surface to freeze. Once frozen, they can be thrown into a freezer bag. They’re a perfect single portion lunch or dinner – made from whole, real ingredients.

Black Bean Burgers

2 15-ounce can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 small red pepper, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon smoked peppers

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon oregano

2 large eggs

1/3 cup banko Breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

½ teaspoon salt

4 slices Cheddar or Colby / Jack cheese

To Assemble:

4 Hamburger buns

4 tablespoons Chipotle mayonnaise

1 cup baby arugula

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Place the beans on the pan and bake for 20 minutes until they are cracked and somewhat dried out.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until somewhat softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and oregano; cook one more minute. Remove from the heat.

4. Transfer the beans to a food processor and pulse into small bits. (About one-third of the original size of the beans). Combine in a bowl with the onion-pepper mixture. Stir in the eggs, panko and mayonnaise until well-combined. Form into four patties.

5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until nicely browned and heated through, 5 minutes per side. Top each burger with a slice of cheese, cover pan and turn off the heat. Let the burgers sit in the covered pan until the cheese melts, about 1 minute.

6. Assemble the Burgers: spread the cut side of the bottom half of each bun with 1 tablespoon of Chipotle mayonnaise and top with 1/4 cup of the arugula. Place each bottom onto each of 4 plates and top with a burger and close the bun.

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